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Four members of Britain's richest family have gone on trial in Switzerland on charges that they spent more money on grooming their dog than on a servant, the BBC reports.

The Hinduja family, whose fortune is estimated at 37 billion pounds ($47 billion), is accused of exploitation and human trafficking.

The family owns a villa in Geneva's affluent Colony neighborhood, and all charges against them relate to their practice of importing maids from India to look after children and households. It is alleged that Prakash and Kamal Hinduja, along with their son Ajay and his wife Namrata, confiscated the employees' passports, paid them just $8 for an 18-hour workday and gave them limited freedom to leave the house.

Although a financial settlement was reached last week over the exploitation, the Hinduja family remains under investigation for human trafficking, a serious criminal offense in Switzerland.

They deny the charges. In court this week, one of Geneva's most prominent prosecutors, Yves Bertossa, compared the nearly $10,000 a year he claimed the family spent on their dog to the daily amount they allegedly paid their servants.

Attorneys for the Hinduja family did not specifically refute the allegations of low wages, but said they should be taken in context, noting that employees also received housing and meals. The overtime charge has also been challenged, with one defense attorney arguing that watching a movie with children can't really be considered work.

Some former servants testified in favor of the Hindujas, describing them as a friendly family that treated their servants with dignity. But the allegations that the servants' passports were confiscated and that they could not even leave the house without authorization are serious because they could be considered human trafficking.

Bertossa is demanding imprisonment and multi-million dollar compensation, as well as legal costs.

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